Shannon Beador is otherwise completely unnecessary to this season of RHOC, but my God was this episode rough for her. I did not cry! But some of you did, I'm sure. Everyone hates Shannon in amounts varying from "some" to "a lot." Even liking her, like Tamra does, involves hatred: Tamra tells Heather that Shannon is a "sad, sad soul" who drinks too much which like she is, but Tamra! Think of the cameras!

I guess Shannon's husband David hates her most of all: He emails her suggesting that a) she should move out and then b) divorce him, or allow him to divorce her. But divorce is not an option for Shannon, who in turn suggests to America that, "I can start going to bed with him at 8:30 and why don't I? Why do I have to stay up to 12:30 or 1 o'clock by myself?" I'm a liar. I sobbed through this episode.

The evening was not solely or even largely left to Shannon, which is good because that's a lotta grief for one woman. Most everything else was about Tamra, Heather, and some combination thereof. Where we left off: before the holidays! This is after. Everyone keeps talking about "the holidays" like you would talk about "the war." Traumas abound.

What we learn immediately is that for all of the fireworks, the status is still very much quo: Tamra and Eddie are still going to talk up CUT Fitness on Good Day L.A. and Heather is still guest-hosting. There's some delicious cross-cutting to establish all of this, as each camp prepares on the morning of filming. Who talked to who? What was known when? What is the precise temperature below which someone's behavior can be classified as "frosty"? The usual.

Eddie, still refusing to acknowledge he is on a REALITY SHOW, gives Tamra lots of sound advice that would completely derail this storyline of any satisfying dénouement. Sensibly, she ignores him completely.

This is the only sensible thing Tamra does—or has ever done, maybe. On the set of Good Day L.A., she gets distracted by Heather's constant moving about; the clipping/unclipping sound microphones make when they're fastened to clothes; the LIGHTS. Tamra, a person who has been on a TV show for seven years.

The segment goes well, to my eyes, though a lot of tension is goosed over its potential ruin. Heather isn't really mean to anyone, per say, but she is not demonstrably nice, which is basically the same thing. Sometimes I side with Tamra! Sometimes I am also nervous while trying new things and would like my friends to be more than just supportive through proximity. I would like them to hug me and rub my arms and soothe me with bromides.

Heather, drawing a hard line, doesn't even offer Tamra advice. She reminds Tamra of this as soon as she can, which isn't until later, much later, past so many other stupid storylines, when she and Tamra have lunch and Heather apologizes. Repeatedly. She scoots her chair closer as Tamra cries.

"I'm sorry," she repeats and repeats. ("That move with the CHAIR," is what a friend texted me right after I sent her: "Oh Heather is so GREAT now.")

Yes, Lizzie and Vicki did some stuff, too, but did they really? Lizzie's mom cut her finger and Vicki's daughter found out she's having another boy. I cannot tell you a single other fact about Lizzie. I can tell you so many other facts about Vicki, but that woman is the emeritus of the entire Bravo network so maybe it's okay if she takes a lap this season?

And Shannon, finally. Again. Still. The woman has nothing—we watched her tutor her daughter in math, which would have been a riveting sequence if Shannon was Tami Taylor instead of awful—and now she has less: Her husband is leaving her, probably. She cannot keep him. She cannot be alone. Crying, at last, to Tamra she said, "It makes me feel pathetic that I have to ask or beg or bitch and complain all the time about why he's not spending more time with me or doing more things with me."

That is next level, y'all. That is too legitimate. I can't get near that. This woman does not need to be on this show any more. Or maybe she does! Maybe she can learn something. Tamra and Vicki, like bugs, keep skittering away from dismay. There's bravery in that, I think—more than in waiting for your husband to squash you.

NEXT UP: Vicki does something, somewhere, with lobsters; Heather spontaneously squanders all of her goodwill; Lizzie continues to exist.

[Images via Bravo]

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